Students exchange programme (SEP)

This  non-degree mobility programme is offered to foreign students from our Partner Universities who intend to spend 1 or 2 semesters abroad as exchange students in the framework of bilateral cooperation agreements. Incoming mobility in the framework of International Academic Mobility & Students Exchange Programmes is also organized as SEP.

SEP participants choose 1 host faculty at SPbSU to attend lectures, seminars and practical training from the curricula provided for the current exchange period.

SEP at SPbU is open for both undergraduate and graduate students, and also for postgraduate students who would like to attend lectures and seminars. SEP is not earmarked for conducting any separate research.

Maximal workload for SEP students is 20 academic hours per week (1 academic hour or AH = 45 minutes, duration of a class at SPSU is 2 AH = 90 minutes). It means that SEP students can select up to 10 classes per week at the host faculty.

SEP students can also take a free Russian language course (5 ECTS, 8 academic hours per week) during the whole exchange period. Classes are organized usually 2 times per week in groups (10-12 people) depending on students' current language skills. If chosen, Russian language course is included into the maximal workload for SEP students.

SEP students have an opportunity to study at a full-time Russian language programme at the faculty of Philology (30 ECTS, 20 academic hours per week). The course covers the main aspects of the Russian language (Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing, Grammar etc) and can include other courses, e.g. Russian literature or Media at upper levels. 

SEP student can choose one of the following options:

1) 20 AH per week (10 classes) at the host faculty, no free Russian language course (or additional language courses for an extra fee)

2) 12 AH per week (6 classes) at the host faculty + 8 AH per week of free Russian language course

At the end of exchange period SEP students get an Exchange Certificate and a Transcript of Records.


  • 1 semester (minimum 4 months)
  • 1 academic year (2 consecutive semesters, maximum 10 months starting from September only)


Depending on the provisions of the cooperation agreement between SPbSU and exchange applicant's Home University, SEP participants could be provided with some of following advantages at SPbSU:

  • Tuituion fee waiver
  • Free accommodation at students' dormitory
  • Monthly scholarship

Applicants should consult with their Home International Office or Students Exchange Coordinator regarding the abovementioned possibilities.

Read The Exchange Students Reports to learn about impressions of former exchange students!


Applicants from Partner Universities should complete their application packages (see below) and submit it to their Home International Office or Students Exchange Coordinator.

We consider a SEP application only if it is delivered to us by a relevant officer of Applicant's Home University as either of following:

  • via Email ( or )- as scanned files (*.pdf is preferable format)
  • or via Fax +7-812-328-75-62

After sending us any applications, please always check that documents are delivered!

At the present time we DO NOT require original application documents to be sent by post.


Exchange period



Autumn semester

September 01 - January 31

May 15

Spring semester

February 14 - June 30

November 01

Full Academic year

September 01 - June 30

May 15

Please note that students can be accepted for full academic year starting from September only! Students who come to SPbU in February can be accepted for 1 semester maximum.


Before submitting a SEP Application we advise to use this check-list to make sure that application package is complete.

1. Nomination letter - signed and stamped by Applicant's Home University Exchange Coordinator

2. Student Exchange Programme Application Form

3. Motivation letter

4. Study Plan: *pdf, *doc. SPbU Academic Offer can be found here http://ifea.spbu.ru/en/non-degree/academic-offer

5. Copy of travelling passport - page with photo; the copy should be full, clear and readable

Applicant's passport should be valid minimum 1,5 years after the beginning of planned exchange period! Otherwise Applicant will be unable to get Russian visa.

6. Confirmation of language proficiency

This could be either an International Certificate, or a letter signed by Applicant's Home University Russian language teacher indicating Applicant's current language proficiency in accordance with the European Language Level Self Assessment Grid.

To apply for the courses taught in Russian students need to provide a certificate proving their level of the Russian language – B2 minimum. To apply for the courses taught in English students should provide a certificate of English language proficiency – B2 minimum. Students applying for full-time Russian language course don't have to provide a language certificate.

7. General health certificate in Russian language 

This should be a certificate proving that the Applicant is in a well state of health (absence of infectious and pulmonary diseases, no contra-indications for studying abroad), signed and stamped by your local doctor. HIV test is also required, but the student can bring it to Russia instead of sending it with other application documents. The certificates should be either performed in Applicant's native language AND in Russian language or officially translated into Russian language (including translation of stamps and signatures).
Please, note that lung x-ray results are obligatory for the dormitory. The certificate must be either performed in Applicant's native language AND in Russian language or officially translated into Russian language (including translation of stamps and signatures). In case the certificate isn't prepared by the time of arrival to the dormitory, the student must do the lung x-ray within 3 working days after arrival to SPbU in any hospital in Saint-Petersburg (the test costs about 300-400 RUR).
We advise to make HIV test 1 or 2 months before coming to SPbU, because it's usually necessary for the visa application to Russia, but is valid only for 3 months.

8. Copies of previous visas to the Russian Federation (if any).